Groundhog Day 2023 is officially here! The weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his burrow to make his Groundhog Day prediction on Feb. 2. Phil SAW his shadow, which means we’ll have SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER. Hundreds of people gathered at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to watch Phil make his prediction, while thousands more tuned in to see the results.
Every year, Phil emerges from his burrow to make his prediction. Legend states that if the groundhog sees his shadow, that means he runs back into the burrow to hibernate for a longer winter. However, if he doesn’t see his shadow, it means spring is coming sooner, because the groundhog is willing to stay outside. When Phil makes his prediction, he shares the results with his special “inner circle,” who then reiterate it to the public.
In 2022, Phil predicted a longer winterwith the same results in 2021. The 2021 Groundhog Day event had to take place virtually amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but Phil was still able to make his prediction. In 2019 and 2020, the predictions called for an early spring. Even though Phil’s accuracy rate is less than 40 percent, the public is always extremely invested in what he has to say on Groundhog Day year after year.
Groundhog Day is a days long affair in Punxsutawney, with various events taking place at Gobbler’s Knob in the days leading up to the official prediction being made. On Feb. 1, an open judge talent show was held, with the top two contestants bringing their talents to the official Groundhog Day celebration on Feb. 2 for a $500 prize. There was also a Groundhog Day banquet on the evening of Feb. 1, which was sold out in the days leading up to the event.
The event in Gobbler’s Knobb is so popular that shuttles began running at 3:00 am on the morning of Groundhog Day, with folks lining up for hours before Phil emerged. Post-Groundhog Day events, including a Groundhog Ball on Feb. 3 and lunch with Phil himself on Feb. 4, are already sold out.
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